November 3, 2005

Only On Home Video: 1995-2004

This movie diary is a tribute to all the movies, good and bad, I have seen in a theater. These pages give me the opportunity to praise movies I love, but this document only tells part of the story. While I have visited movie theaters more than forty times per year for over a decade, some gems still slip through my fingers. After exhausting research, I have compiled a list of the Top Ten Best Movies, which I missed in theaters. I had to set a cut-off point to keep the list from growing too large (no one wants to read my Top 50!) so I restricted the list to movies I love which I missed in theaters since 1995. In Alphabetical Order:
  • Boogie Nights (1997) I missed this Los Angeles porn epic, probably because my then-wife would have hated it. I was living in Portland, Maine at the time, so who knows if P.T. Anderson's sexy masterpiece had a theatrical exhibition out in the sticks, anyways.
  • Clueless (1995) This "Emma In L.A." is still cute, smart, and funny, 10+ years later. It must have seemed kind of silly and inconsequential at the time.
  • Dark City (1998) Why did I miss this movie in theaters? It's a challenging premise with no "stars", and frankly, the trailer for the movie was badly assembled.
  • Desperado (1995) I don't know why I missed this one.
  • Galaxy Quest (1999) In an unprecedented endorsement, my parents called me right after they saw this movie, to praise how great this movie is. I saw The Sixth Sense that weekend instead, and missed this great comedy.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) I had enjoyed the Coen Brothers's Fargo and The Hudsucker Proxy, but I hated The Big Lebowski. HATED IT. So when their subsequent movie came out, I avoided it. Only when my friend Dan forced me to watch it in 2001 did I realize what I had missed.
  • Office Space (1999) I'm hardly the only person who missed this movie in theaters, then discovered it on home video.
  • Out of Sight (1998) In 1998, I didn't give a rat's ass about George Clooney or Jennifer Lopez. I still don't care about J-Lo, but she was great in this Steven Soderbergh movie.
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004) Another movie which didn't look as funny in commercials as it turned out to be. Emily and I came very close to seeing this in the theater, but never quite pulled the trigger. Thanks HBO!
  • The Tao Of Steve (2000) I remember reading a magazine or newspaper feature about this movie and it's director. I rented it from Netflix in 2001, a year when I rented dozens of movies to fill my newly-free time: In 2001 I was freshly divorced, living with my parents, mostly unemployed. This small, romantic movie about a underachieving, overweight-yet-charming guy (Donal Logue) who happens to look a lot like me won me over. I went to a New Year's party full of strangers that year, and everyone started calling me Steve, after this movie.